Moving Us Closer To Osler
A Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence Initiative

The Importance of Rest


Make time for rest in order to lead a good life! This includes not working around-the-clock, prioritizing both work and non-work activities equally, and using your vacation time!

Our division watched an eight-minute video of highlights from, “Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less,” by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. This book offers many insights for all healthcare providers to consider. Here are a few our division highlighted:


1.) There’s no need to work around the clock.

“We need to treat both work and non-work activities as equally important.” ~Scott Wright, MD



2.) Physical activity is critical.

“Apparently, it’s particularly effective to walk around when you’re trying to be creative. Additionally, Pang talked about how there are many scientists and writers  who worked only four hours per day, and engaged in physical activity for the rest of their day. For example, Watson, of Watson and Crick, made time for tennis every day! The physical activity allowed his brain to rest and work differently. Many of us who care for patients don’t have the option of working only half of the day, but thinking about ways to recharge your battery at mid-day, would probably be best for you and your patients.” ~Scott Wright, MD



3.) Listen to your body when you’re tired.

“When I was younger, I would pride myself on working harder and longer. Now, I’m working to retrain myself to honor when I’m feeling tired.” ~Robert Shochet, MD



4.) Vacations are important.

“The peak vacation length is about seven or eight days. I need to readjust my vacation schedule!” ~Robert Shochet, MD


“Less than one week is too short to settle into a more relaxed pace. I always try to do two weeks, and I always come back rejuvenated!” ~David Kern, MD


“My husband and I just took a two week vacation for the first time in many years. We really got away and it was so restful. We did lots of snorkeling, hiking, and sightseeing in the Seychelles. We didn’t do work or personal email. It hit the mark. I then took my work email off my phone. I started with a trial and I survived! It makes my two weekend days much more restful. I can feel disconnected for two days. I can’t stay away from it when it’s on my phone. If it’s really important, people will call you if they truly need you.” ~Laura Hanyok, MD


Rest is a skill. Deliberately make time for it in order to live a good life.